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If you're in the manufacturing industry, you risk a R25 000 fine if your employees don't have these five pieces of PPE

by , 12 January 2015
The manufacturing industry is one of the most dangerous industries. The reason for this is the dangerous machinery you need to do your job. These machines have multiple hazards such as exposed moving parts, over-heating and possibly even sparking.

And that means they're constantly in danger when they work with this machinery. And you need to take every precaution to protect them from these dangers.

Sure, you have to put safety equipment in place, but sometimes even that isn't enough.

To make sure your employees really are safe from injuries, you must give them PPE.

Read on to find out the five pieces of PPE your manufacturing employees must have or risk a R25 000 DoL fine...


Give your manufacturing employees these five pieces of PPE to protect them from injuries

1. Safety gloves
Safety gloves are one of the most important pieces of personal protect equipment (PPE) for manufacturing employees. 
Because of the exposed moving parts in the machinery, it's easy for your employees to cut themselves badly on these parts. This is because your employees work closely with the machines and they could come into contact with one of these exposed parts.
You can get specialised gloves that have a chain-mail like layer in between the fabric to stop blades or other sharp objects from piercing your employee's skin. 
Padded gloves also absorb the vibrations from machinery that would normally cause strain on your employees' joints. 
Always make sure your employees' gloves are in good condition and don't have any holes in them. 
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2. Eyewear
Safety goggles and glasses are important because machinery can spark or shoot out small particles. If these go in your employee's eye, it can cause serious damage and even blindness. 
When you choose safety eyewear for your employees, consider these three points:
1. Do your employees work with hazards on either side of them? If so, their safety goggles must have side shields or wraparound arms.
2. Is there a risk of impact to their eyes? If so, their safety eyewear must have polycarbonate or plastic lenses.
3. Do your employees have to work with high temperatures or corrosive chemicals? If so, polycarbonate or plastic lenses may not be practical. Rather use lenses made of treated safety glass, as long as there's no risk of impact to their eyes.
3. Ear plugs
If your employees work around noisy machinery, they'll need ear plugs. It's best to give them disposable foam ear plugs. They must wear these the whole time they're around noisy machinery.
4. Face masks or respirators 
If your employees work around machines that send dusty and other partials into the air, they need masks or respirators to filter the air. 
Do a risk assessment to determine what kind of mask or respirator they'll need. The Risk Assessment Toolkit will help you do this.
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5. Safety shoes
Your employees need safety shoes for two reasons:
1. To provide protection if anything heavy falls on their feet; and
2. Grip to stop them slipping if the floor is wet or slippery.
Make sure their shoes have strong steel or hard plastic structures around their toes and the top of the foot. Check the shoes have enough grip. 
These five pieces of PPE will keep your manufacturing employees safe from the dangers they face at work. 
If the DoL inspects your workplace and finds you don't have these important pieces of PPE, it could fine you up to R25 000. 
So make sure you give your employees this safety gear as soon as possible.

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